Thursday, June 25, 2015

Five for Friday along the Outer Banks

Hello everyone and Happy Friday! I'm joining Doodlebugs once again to share my top five of the week!

We're spending our last few days of vacation along the beautiful North Carolina shore. Here's a picture from the ferry as we were approaching Ocracoke Island and the lighthouse.

Doesn't every vacation need some teacher shopping? I think so! Before we left the family beach house in South Carolina and headed north, I took a little trip to the local teacher store.
Here's what I bought. More polka dot border to continue my theme from last year. Another package of popcorn border. I'm sure I have enough for my Word Wall but I have an idea to make a popcorn sight word game with it, too.  Some black & white dotted library pockets. Cute alphabet stickers for the kid's journals. Game pawns to use with some game boards I'm making.
And, last but not least, the most adorable Pete the Cat puppet you've ever seen!
During our trip we've found oodles of gorgeous seashells. My favorites are the rolled up ones! I know these will find their way into the sensory tub during my Ocean unit.
Do you like to read at the beach? I hardly ever read just for fun during the school year so I think that's why I get so absorbed in my books on vacation. I'm not one for keeping up with the latest Top 10 books as you can see. Most of these were popular years ago which is probably why I found them at yard sales and Goodwill! But good reads nonetheless. 

I'll be home late Sunday.  There will be lots to unpack and laundry to be done but I'm also looking forward to sharing a post with you next week about the Question of the Day!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Five for Friday from the Beach

How fun that it's Friday and all our favorite teacher bloggers are joining with Doodlebugs Teaching for another Five for Friday! I'm blogging from my phone which is about as challenging as your summer should get! If there's a LINK button, I'm oblivious to it so just be sure you visit to get to the party!

It's been a beautiful week at the beach where we've definitely seen and felt the hot summer sun! Coupled with the extreme humidity, the heat index has been well over 100 each day.

Sand, surf, and the ocean breeze are the only ways you'll beat the heat...
New Life is Good summer sunshine t-shirt...
It's a little ways up to Calabash, NC for lunch but worth the drive. Best local shrimp you can imagine in a tiny restaurant caught in a time warp from the '70s. 

Painter's Ice Cream, the local favorite, is a real treat after a hot day. It's another blast from the past. No frills, you just walk up, wait in line, and eat your homemade ice cream on old wooden picnic tables. 

So that's it for my week! 
Hope yours was a good one, too!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Monday Made It-Print, Laminate, Cut

By the time you read this, I'll be at the beach!  I'll definitely have my share of fun in the sun and relaxing but I'm also taking a big bag of teacher stuff. Little by little I've been working on things for next year.  Let's link up with 4th Grade Frolics to give you a quick look at what I've done.
I wanted to update my Word Wall and make new sight word cards.  The Word Wall has a Popcorn theme which I love and I thought these black & white polka dots would be a nice compliment to all the reds and yellow of the popcorn accents. These editable sight word cards are part of a huge classroom bundle of black & white themed resources created by Planet Happy Smiles.  Check it out HERE!
Printed/laminated classroom helper cards from that same wonderful black & white bundle!
Made a number puzzle set with a very cute Back to School theme!  I love these because they are bold and simple.  Great for a quick assessment those first few weeks of school to determine if your kids recognize numerals and can count sets to ten.  These are FREE from Paula Harrell's TPT store Learn + Play = Pre K!  Click HERE to get yours and check out more great resources for preschool and kinder! 
Using the creations by Mary from Sharing Kindergarten, I made lots of fun things to use when we read the hilarious Back to School book, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books.  You'll find plenty of resources HERE.
Finally, I worked on several small group math activities from Kim Adsit's "DI...It's Easy As Pie" unit!  Click HERE to see the details of this extensive product. It requires some prep but it's well worth it!
So that's what I've been busy making! 
 Lots of printing...cutting...laminating...getting ready for next year! 
Click HERE to see more Monday Made It blogs! 
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Friday, June 12, 2015

Five for Friday-My Resource Room

 This week's Five for Friday is all about my Resource Room
I'm super proud of this space and know how fortunate I am to have a place dedicated exclusively for my teacher resources!  Let's go on a tour!

First, let me tell you this room wasn't part of the original floor plan of our basement.  Our basement is large and finished but sorely lacking in organized storage spaces. We thought about simply building a wall of shelves at the far end and hiding them behind a curtain or sliding closet doors.  A contractor we've used on several home projects suggested we build a wall a few feet out from the shelves and truly make a room instead of just a closet.  Best idea ever!

Here's the view when you're in the doorway...
and looking down the middle of the room... 

and from the back of the room looking over towards the door...
Yes, that's my sweet Big Kitty who invited himself on this tour!
Here's my children's book collection.  As you walk in the door, these shelves are immediately to the right.  They're packed pretty full but it's still very easy to get to and find exactly what I need.  I use a free app called Book Catalogue to keep inventory of my books. It's nice to be able to check the inventory listing on my phone before I buy a book. I'm always finding great deals on books at Goodwill or yard sales and the book app has been a helpful tool to avoid buying duplicate titles.  I also use the app when I'm doing my lesson plans to see what books I have for upcoming themes.

I'm currently just using old file folders to separate the various book categories.  It works fine...but one of my summer projects is to create some prettier dividers!

Doesn't every teacher love Big Books? I sure do but they can be very awkward and cumbersome to store. I've used laundry baskets, plastic tubs, and even tall kitchen trashcans to hold these big literary monsters.  Nothing worked as well as I wanted.   One time I saw a wooden storage book box at a teacher convention so I snapped a picture and showed to my husband.  He immediately said, "I can build that!".  So now I have a customized a Big Book Box! It's on little casters so I can roll it out of the storage cubby, pick what I want to take in and read to the class, and then roll it back in it's place.  
My monthly boxes are one of the main reasons I yearned for a good storage place at home. I don't need to have daily access to them but I also don't want them buried under piles of other stuff.  They are on the very top of the shelves and fit perfectly. Out of the way but where I can get to them.  I have a small step stool in my resource room that I use whenever I need to fetch a box.
The boxes are the plastic Sterlite brand which I purchased from Target about twelve years ago.  They've held up incredibly well and were definitely a worthy investment.  I remember buying two or three at a time when they were on sale because I couldn't justify buying them all at once.

These boxes contain things that are pertinent to that month.  For example, the October box has all of my pumpkin centers, fall decorations, seasonal craft items, October poems/charts/songs for my pocket charts, calendar pieces, etc.  A few days before each month begins, I take down the next monthly box and sort through the contents. It helps with my lesson planning and gets me ready for what's coming up.

I am blessed to have lots of alphabet/literacy/language resources!  I think it's my favorite thing to teach and my favorite resources to collect!  This is an important part of the resource room because I am constantly taking things to school to use for learning at the teacher table, switching out items in centers, and trying to meet individual student needs. These tubs are sorted by the types of language arts activities they contain. I knew I'd never remember what was in each tub so I typed up an inventory list and posted it to the end of the tub.  A quick look and I can easily find what I want.

Tub 1 has a variety of letter manipulatives...everything from letter dice to letter rocks. Tub 2 contains resources to teach beginning sounds.  This tub has lots of matching games, small puzzles, and pocket chart cards.

Tub 3 is exclusively for fine motor resources I use when we're working on learning letters.  It's full of ABC rubber stamps, stencils, playdoh letter stampers, Wikki sticks, and even ABC crafting supplies!  Tub 4 has several categories but mainly stores my rhyming and sight words resources.

I made three super large binders with alphabet "stuff" in them.  It was challenging to remember what I had in miscellaneous teacher books so one day I sat down and basically disassembled them!  I tore out pages from a huge stack of resource books and then reorganized everything I had.  I put all the pages about letter A in one stack, all the B papers, and so on organizing all I had by the letter.  That way if we're working on the letter P at school, I can look in one notebook and easily find a P handwriting page, a piggy puppet pattern, a page of P clip art pictures, and a list of P art ideas.  It has made planning so much easier to have everything together instead of having to look through a dozen books to find what I needed.

This language arts area also stores Nursery Rhyme flannel board  pieces, puppets, and pocket chart phrases in addition to my Word Family and Guided Reading binders. Oh, I did the same thing with word family resource books as I did with my alphabet ones.  Tore them all apart and filed everything by that particular word family.  So when I'm planning to teach the -at family, I have a variety of activities in one place without having to flip through 4 or 5 teacher books to find what I want.

The resource room is also home to my math resources.  I have two big blue tubs of math manipulatives which I need to inventory just like I did the alphabet resources.  As you see below, I also have a decent assortment of boxed floor puzzles, games, and items for dramatic play
I'm still "old school" and have a vast collection of books on tape.  Cassette tape, that is!  I know, they're obsolete but I love my books on tape so I keep them sorted in my resource room in cardboard banker's boxes.  I have one box for fall, one for winter, and one for spring.  Every month I switch out the listening center with a new batch of stories.  By the way, my listening center has an old cassette player and headphones.   
A couple of shelves are filled with arts & crafts as well as general office supplies.  
I have one blue tub filled with a hodge podge of containers, baskets, storage bins. There's another one that keeps my science supplies organized including fillers and such I use in the sensory table. 
Well, I think that's about it for the tour!  Thanks for coming to see my resource room

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